Illustration for article titled Manual Transmissions: Described, Ranked- Round 2

Inspired by FeatherThrottleNotHair's post I started thinking about all the manuals I have driven over the years. So here is a quick list with some short descriptions. (Starting with the best). Some cars I knew the year some I did not, some are close guesses.


Honda S2000- just superb, no other words

Acura TSX/ Honda Civic Si (K24 Engine)- Very similar to the S2K but just a tad heavier in the clutch

Porsche 911 C4 Cab (996)- Very smooth, but deliberate engagement

Mazda RX-8- very quick throws, but still had a cool "click"

Acura RSX (K20)- Clutch was just not the same as the K24 setup but other than that very nice throws


E90 328i - Not quite as light as the Hondas and a tad long but a joy to row all day long.

'04 Mini Cooper S- Loved that ball top, easy clutch, great fun

'95 Honda Prelude Si- this was the first manual I owned, it was a fine gearbox so it holds a special place in my heart


'10 Mazda 3s- It's no RX8 or Miata but a fine trans

'10 VW GTI- a big improvement over the older generations

'08 Subaru WRX STI- short and quick but wanted more

'05 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 wagon- super heavy clutch, a tad long in the throws

'02 Subaru WRX- a little long and not real precise

'04 Infiniti G35- too heavy, required too much effort

'11 Infiniti G37- see ('04 G35)

'03 Mazda 6 V6- not Mazda's best effort

'98 VW GTI VR6- Rubbery

'06 (?) VW GOL- Still rubbery but worse

'11 Lancia Ypsilon (diesel)- heavy, awkward, chattered like crazy

'01 Chevy Spark- eh, it worked

'89- Nissan Pickup- 1st gear was somewhere over the hood, 2nd was somewhere behind the bed.


I'm sure I have forgotten a few...but boy I've rowed quite a few gears :D

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